After my first photos from Chrysler Pacifica Minivans, that were in the process of being equipped with Google’s self-driving technology, I have new photos that show a car at a public test drive.
What can be noticed at the car are sensors that are without coverings. Mounted on the roof is a Lidarsystem-box that are already being used by Google’s 2nd generation self-driving Lexus SUVs. The box, which was developed by Google, is here seen with a cover and the cables and technology is on raw display. On the side above the front wheels is an opening in the metal panel that hosts a radar. Radars are also mounted above the driver and passenger windows on the roof, as well as at the back of the car, just before the the back door hinges.
At the front – where Google mounted short range lasers with their other cars – is a ‘cable’. Any hints for the purpose of that ‘cable’ are welcome. Also visible is a blue covering on the door handle on the driver side. Also any hints about the purpose are welcome.
Behind the front window a big red emergency stop button can be seen. Also the diver side back mirror seems to have a little camera(?) hole at the bottom. In the upper right corner of the sliding door there are two unrecognizable objects.
According to media reports from May this year Fiat Chrysler is going to deliver 100 minivans to Google, which will be getting equipped with Google’s self-driving technology. One reason for choosing this type of car are the sliding doors for passengers that allow to automatically open and close them, going in sync with a customers expectation for automation and comfort in a self-driving car.
According to speculations those cars can be used as taxis to gather similar data that Uber in Pittsburgh or Nutonomy in Singapore already collect with passengers. Also exposing customers early to such a technology helps to get broader acceptance.
Photo credit: Hannes Möseneder